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Monday, May 4, 2015

Ain't Life Grand?

Having Fun in Grand Haven

We had a wonderful time visiting the beautiful
town of Grand Haven this weekend.  Grand Haven
is a coastal town along the edge of one of the American
Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.  For those not familiar 
with the Great Lakes, they appear to be more like an 
ocean than a lake ~ being called "Great" is not an
exaggeration by any means.  Grand Haven is a lovely
American small town with a thriving downtown and
beautiful old homes.  But the best reason for us to 
visit Grand Haven is to spend time with our family.
Pat and Jim welcome us to their summer home and
show us such gracious hospitality.

It was Tulip Time in the nearby town of Holland, 
Michigan so we drove down to participate in the 
Tulip Festival.  Our first day we visited the Windmill
Island Gardens.  It was a perfect Spring day, warm 
but breezy.

Holland was settled by Dutch immigrants who had 
to carve out a community from what was essentially
a swamp with brutal winters.  Through much hard
work and perseverance the town thrived.

Through the 1950's, 90% of the town's population
was of Dutch heritage.  In the remaining years, that
demographic has changed but the town still likes
to celebrate it's roots.

In 1927 a local high school biology teacher 
suggested the town plant flowers as a community
beautification project.  Since most people in town
were Dutch, they chose tulips and imported bulbs
from the Netherlands and the Tulip Time Festival
was born.

In fairness to my readers, I have to say this is
nothing compared with a visit to the Netherlands
where you can see endless fields of tulips, visit the
 world renowned Keukenhof gardens and see Dutch
architecture and culture.  But for those who can't 
make a trip there, a visit the Holland, MI is a nice
little peek of what you would see in Holland.

The best part of the weekend for us of course is
getting to spend time with Pat and Jim.  We
never stop talking all weekend ~ it is such fun.
On Saturday night we went to the beach and 
hunted for driftwood and watched a spectacular
sunset.  On Sunday afternoon we explored the 
downtown shops and had a bite to eat.  All too
quickly it was time to head home.  we can't wait
to visit again!

Thanks Pat and Jim!

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